Intern Story

Internship in the Ecology Department

  • by Onesmus Aule June 15, 2023
Internship in the Ecology Department

My name is Aule Onesmus Elao, and I am currently studying for my Bachelor of Science in Integrated Environmental Science (Hons) at University of Namibia. At the beginning of 2022, I was looking for a place to do my internship and heard about CCF. I applied and got accepted. To be honest, spending six weeks at CCF and doing my internship at the internationally renowned organization was the best time for me. I arrived at CCF on 6 December 2022.

CCF is made up of several departments, so if you’re thinking about doing an internship here, there’s bound to be something that interests you. To mention a few, there are people working in the hospitality and tourism sector; biomass department working to reduce encroacher bush and make burnable logs; genetics lab where people do cheetah and other animals scat, blood and tissues sample analysis; cheetah team responsible for keeping cheetahs fed and in great health condition; small stock and livestock guarding dogs team that takes care of dogs, goats, and sheep; vet team that helps in treatments of all sick animals; a small but very productive garden that provides food for visitors and everyone in CCF. This is not all, the list goes on and on.

I was assigned to the ecology department where I was working on camera traps and big field counts. The camera traps are placed at water holes and play trees to observe inter and intra species interactions. Of most interest on the reserve is the leopards and rhinos and their interactions. The camera traps also monitor the species location and help determine the species niches in the reserve.

I was very much interested in rhinos, and CCF gave me a chance to learn a lot about them. CCF taught me a lot about designing identification keys for rhinos, servicing of camera traps by replacing the batteries and SD cards, and resetting the time and date settings on the cameras.

On my general days, I was placed in the cheetah department where I learned to prepare meat for cheetah and weigh it. I also worked on the tourism department and with the dog team, learning how to take care of the livestock guardian dogs and share knowledge with the public.

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